Signs of Gum Disease and What to Do About It

Many of our patients tell us that they think it is normal for gums to bleed from time to time when they brush or floss. But the truth is that swollen, sore and bleeding gums are one of the first signs that your gums are infected. Just like any infection, if nothing is done, the infection can spread. An infection in the tooth can destroy the supportive structures in your jawbone and eventually, teeth can become so loose that they need to be removed. It’s hard to imagine that bleeding gum can lead to such serious side effects but it’s seen every day in the dental field.

Causes

Smoking and tobacco use can definitely be a cause of gum disease. If you currently smoke or use tobacco, the health of your teeth is another reason to quit. Poor nutrition combined with poor hygiene habits are also a main cause of gum disease. Avoid excess sugar and brush and floss as recommended by your dentist. It’s also important to keep up with your dental check-ups.
For some people, gum disease is less preventable. Genes, hormones and even certain diseases can increase their risk for gum disease. If this applies to you, you may need to visit the dentist more than twice a year for preventative care.

Warning Signs

If you experience any of these early signs, you might be suffering from early stages of periodontal disease. It might be time to schedule a check-up to ensure that your teeth remain healthy.
As mentioned, one of the first signs are gums that bleed, either while or after you brush your teeth or floss. If your teeth appear red or swollen and are tender throughout the day, gingivitis could be to blame. You should always take the time to periodically check your gums. It is possible to have healthy gums on one side of your mouth and early signs of gingivitis on the other.
Do you suffer from persistent bad breath? Do you consistently have a bad taste left in your mouth, even right after brushing? These are both signs of infection. Also, if you notice that your gums seem to be moving away from the tips of your teeth, a call to your dentist is definitely in order.
More serious signs include the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums, which can be measured by your dentist, and loose or shifting teeth. If you feel that your bite has shifted or if the positioning of your teeth feels different, your teeth are most likely starting to loosen. Don’t put off a call to your dentist at this point. It is crucial that you be seen immediately.

How is Gum Disease Treated?

Only your dentist can diagnose your gum disease. If this is the case, treatment should start sooner than later. When treatment starts, the main goals will be to promote reattachment of healthy gums, reduce swelling and improve the depth of pockets. Treatment will vary, depending on the cause of the infection and the stage of the disease.
For milder cases, a professional dental cleaning will be enough to stop the progression and start healing. For more advanced stages of the disease, surgical treatment could be needed. This could include flap surgery, bone grafts and soft tissue grafts.
Quay Dental wants to help you prevent gum disease. If you believe that you suffer from this condition already, be sure to call us right away so that we can stop the infection from spreading and get you back on track to a healthy smile.

Sources:
http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/what-is-periodontal-disease
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gingivitis-periodontal-disease?page=2#1